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Billy Sloan: Is this the way to Aberfeldy? R.E.M. give Scots band big break.

Byline: Billy Sloan

SCOTS band Aberfeldy have been given the biggest break of their career... thanks to Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

He's asked the virtually-unknown indie act to open for the US supergroup at Loch Lomond.

The Edinburgh outfit - led by singer Riley Briggs ---will perform in front of 40,000 fans at Balloch Castle Country Park on June 18.

They were chosen after R.E.M. - Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck - heard the buzz for Aberfeldy when they appeared at the South By South West festival in Austin, Texas, last week.

They then checked out the Scots band's songs on their website.

A delighted Riley said: 'We had one of the best weeks of our life taking part in the South By South West.

'But we're thrilled to bits to be invited to open for R.E.M. at Loch Lomond. It will be the biggest show we've ever played.

'We're very much a song- driven band, maybe that's what appealed to them. ' Aberfeldy - whose debut album Young Forever - went down a storm in Texas. They played four gigs plus several radio sessions to critical acclaim.

The R.E.M. Balloch show has mushroomed into a one-day mini- festival.

And I can reveal their other special guests will be: FEEDER: Popularity of the group - led by singer Grant Nicholas and bass player Taka Hirose - has soared following the release of their new album, Pushing The Senses. They play two gigs at the Academy in Glasgow tomorrow and Tuesday night.

THE ZUTONS: The Liverpool group sold out the Academy last week. Their chart-topping album, Who Killed The Zutons? includes hit singles Pressure Point, Confusion and You Will You Won't.

AMBULANCE LTD: The hotly-tipped New York group - fronted by singer Marcus Congleton - have just released their self-titled debut album in the UK.

An R.E.M. insider said: 'It was always our intention to have a bill which was musically very strong.

'We always like giving a platform to young bands. We're confident Aberfeldy will go down well.'

Last month, the US supergroup had to cancel a gig at the SECC in Glasgow after Mike Mills was struck with a severe ear infection.

They'll play a rearranged show in a 12,000-capacity circus tent on Glasgow Green so fans won't be disappointed.

CAPTION(S):

Stipe dream: Riley, right, says Aberfeldy are thilled to back R.E.M.; Support: Stipe
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 27, 2005
Words:401
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